Each of us travels through life thinking things will never change – but change it surely does. There are certain pivotal moments that not only change one’s life but the lives of others (and even the history of nations). The world, and myself, had one of those moments on November 22, 1963. The events of that day are permanently seared into my brain. It started out like a normal Friday morning. I was a junior at Claremont High School, trying to look interested during my English teacher’s lecture. I could see her lips moving but being a teenager I was more interested in thinking how I would spend my upcoming Thanksgiving holiday then listen to the lecture. Then, without warning, the public address system was switched on without any announcements – it was a news station announcing that the President had been shot. Everyone stopped what they were doing, and then we all got up and invaded a history classroom that had a television. The history teacher just looked up at us and never protested our disruption of his class. The room was jammed with teenagers but you could have heard a pin drop. We watched in disbelief to what Walter Cronkite was telling us (this was 1963, so the early reports were very vague – the news was not instantaneous as it is today). It was hard to believe that this was actually happening – the last President to be assassinated was President William McKinley in 1901. This could not be happening, for this President was young and vivacious. He and his wife Jackie were trendsetters who held up a beacon of freedom to the world. But then reality crashed in when Walter Cronkite, with tears in his eyes, told us that President John Fitzgerald Kennedy was pronounced dead. It was as if a light had been extinguished in our world. Each one of us exited the classroom silently in our own thoughts and made our way home. November 22, 1963 is a day that changed the history of America and much of the free world. It was forty-eight years ago when our President was assassinated in downtown Dallas, Texas, but I still remember it like it was yesterday.
SharLeigh has an inquisitive nature – she is interested in current events, history, science and many more subjects, including things that go bump in the night! Since 1997, SharLeigh has scoured the internet, looking for interesting, fun and timely topics covering all sorts of human-interest subjects for her articles from her home in Fontana, CA.